Text: Rev 5:8-14
OT Text: Psalm 148
Featured Verse: Rev 5:13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
Main Idea: As we continue to witness the expansive worship of God in the heavenly realm. It is expansive because it extends to people from every background and is joined by praise from all of creation.
This section overlaps slightly with the sermon text for Sunday Feb 26. In that passage we saw that Jesus is the Lord of history and because of his victorious death/resurrection he is able to open the scroll of God's divine plan which unfolds through the shaking of the nations (see Heb 12:28-29.) Today we will focus more closely on the "new song" which erupts in response to the gospel.
Analysis and Application
After Jesus - the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and the Lamb who was slain - is found worthy to open the scroll of redemptive history, praise and worship explode in heaven (5:8.) John tells us that they "sang a new song." (5:9) This song connects the opening of the scroll with the redeeming work of Christ. They sing, "you are worthy to take the scroll...for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God." The authority that Jesus has as the risen Lord flows from his faithful execution of the divine plan of salvation.
The scope of the song continues to roll outward in its magnitude. The ransomed people of God are from "every tribe and language and people and nation." (5:9b) This does not mean that every person will be saved. Unfortunately, many will persist in their rebellion. But it means that God will draw and awaken people from every group on earth. Every type of person will be saved. This is the vision that propels world missions. We send missionaries and call our members to go across oceans and language barriers and cultural divides because God is bringing people of every ethnic group on earth into his kingdom. Our identity as a church is not based on any one nation or people group. The church transcends those barriers as it incorporates a world-wide population into the kingdom.
But John's vision does not end there. The resounding praise is not merely from the heavenly realm, but it is from earth as well. The entirety of creation "in earth and on earth and under the earth" calls out praise to God. It is interesting to think of animals worshipping God. Clearly, they do not do this as humans do. I suspect that when animals live into their calling as creatures, they glorify God. Of course, they are not made in the image of God and we can't apply any human faculties to them. But it is nice to think that God delights in his creation and receives their praise with gladness. I am writing this on an unseasonably warm February day. The birds are singing and whole earth seems set to emerge from its frozen slumber. It may not be as nice when you are reading this, but there are still opportunities for us to see how the beauty of creation points to the glory of the creator. Make some time to get outside.